Seattle Pride goes virtual this weekend and pivots its message

VIDEO: Virtual Pride weekend underway in Seattle

SEATTLE — It's not just the pandemic that made the Capitol Hill Pride March look different this year. In addition to masks, dozens of marchers carried on, even in the rain, and shared another message of solidarity.

“I’m just here to be part of something and to fight for equal rights for black lives matter, black trans lives,” said marcher Reese Alder.

Meanwhile, Seattle Pride - which draws upwards of 400,000 people to downtown every year - is turning to a virtual weekend format this year with workshops focusing on activism and centering black, brown and indigenous voices.

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Krystal Marx, executive director for Seattle Pride, says days of protests against police brutality and systemic racism  made it clear the organization needed to pivot its message.

“The LGBTQ comm as a whole, because so many in the community are white or white passing, have been able to advance our rights a lot quicker and we have not done as good of a job as we should have of bringing along or black and brown community members,” said Marx.

The virtual event also includes musical performances by artists, like electro-soul and hip-hop artist CarLarans, who has called Seattle home for the last 5 years.

“I hope to be able to do two things. I think one is express my own experience and be able to share that and I think with my music is just an easy way to transcend so many different barriers to where we can really reach the hearts and minds of people,” CarLarans explained.

And even today, despite the advances made, it’s a reminder that the struggle for social justice hasn’t ended.

“It’s going back to our roots. It’s remembering that Pride started as a riot and making sure that we’re honoring that,” Marx added.